One of my favourite places in Dublin is the National Leprechaun Museum. So much so that I visited the museum on both of my trips to Ireland! What I love about it, is that it’s an extremely sensory museum. There’s only one small section, right at the beginning, which has the traditional displays showing you how leprechauns have been perceived over the years. From their size, to how to dress, to how they have been represented in movies. From there, you then step into a magical world of folklore and story telling for the duration of the tour!
Visiting The National Leprechaun Museum Dublin
You begin your journey at the National Leprechaun Museum by travelling through a magic tunnel and being shrunk to the size of a leprechaun, which is around 3 feet tall! Think of the reverse of the corridor in Willy Wonka where they enter the chocolate factory for the first time! After making your way through the tunnel, you find yourself under the basalt columns of the ‘Giant’s Causeway’. The Giant’s Causeway is actually 160+ miles from Dublin, a 3 hour drive, but it’s all part of the Irish folklore and legends as to how the Causeway was created!
Next you are able to set your inner leprechaun free! There is a whole room decked out with GIANT furniture, making you feel like a teenie tiny leprechaun! There’s an armchair and some dining room table and chairs and you are free to climb all over them! The armchair is probably the easiest to climb on to (climb on the little sideboard next to it to give you a boost). For the dining room chairs most people may need a leg up as they are very high up! My sister even climbed on top of the table and then started to panic that she was going to be stuck up there forever, as it’s quite close to the ceiling so there’s not much wiggle room! Of course I just stood there laughing (and then tried to help as I’m not THAT mean)…
After you’ve let off some leprechaun steam, the ‘serious’ part of the tour begins. You leave the giant furniture room via the fireplace and then walk THROUGH a rainbow. Like I said, this museum is a sensory overload! This is where the story telling truly begins. The guides (official name: Storytellers) are AMAZING, they are very theatrical in the way that they tell the stories and legends.
You’ll learn about where in Ireland the myths originated from and how they tie into Irish folklore and listen to traditional stories about leprechauns and their pots of gold. My favourite story telling room is one that looks like a woodland area, where you can sit on a tree stump and listen to the legend. The story told in this room is veryyyyy similar to the Cornish Piskie legends, but then geographically the 2 areas are very close to each other.
The tour ends in the gift shop. There are a couple of activities in this area and a giant leprechaun, Seamus, that you can use some props, take a seat on a toadstool and have a picture with. There was a little outside area that was open during one of my visits, with a couple of other photo opportunities too.
Plan Your Visit to the National Leprechaun Museum
The National Leprechaun Museum is open Monday to Sunday from 10am until 6.30pm. Tours leave on the hour (starting at 11am) and last for 45 minutes. Adult tickets are 16 Euros and children (up to 17yrs…which is brilliant as ‘child tickets’ in a lot of places don’t often go up as old as this!) are 10 Euros. The tours aren’t suitable for under 7’s. I feel that this is definitely a museum that adults may get more out of. The rooms are quite dark for atmospherics and leprechauns aren’t exactly nice characters, so the stories aren’t always that happy!
They also have adult only tours (over 18s) on Friday and Saturday evenings (7.30pm or 8.30pm). These last 1 hour and cost 18 Euros. I haven’t been on this particular tour, so I can’t tell you exactly what’s involved, but it’s advertised as telling ‘twisted tales from the darker side of Ireland’.
You can book tickets in advance on the National Leprechaun Museum website. (The first time I visited, we received a free gift for booking online! I’m not sure if they still do this but we were given ‘National Leprechaun Museum’ rainbow pencils, which were really cool, the ‘lead’ was multiple colours so when you wrote, it looked like a rainbow. If they aren’t giving them out still, I’m sure you can pick one up in the gift shop).
The museum is located on Jervis Street, right opposite the large indoor ‘Jervis Shopping Centre’. The Jervis Luas tram stop is literally just outside the front door. If you’re walking, cross over the River Liffey on the Ha’Penny Bridge, to the opposite side of the river from the Temple Bar District, the museum is just a 4 minute walk from here.
Other Dublin Information
Looking for things to do in Dublin? You can get some ideas with my ‘How to Spend 2 Days in Dublin, Ireland‘ itinerary!
If you are a visitor from the USA, on the return trip you’ll clear US Immigration in Dublin Airport! This means that you’ll land in the States as a ‘domestic’ arrival! Here’s what to expect clearing US immigration at Dublin Airport.